Der Spiegel: Moscow negotiating with China about serial production of kamikaze drones, first shipment to be sent to Russia by April

Russia is in the process of negotiating a serial drone production deal with the Chinese manufacturer of drones Xi'an Bingo Intelligent Aviation Technology, Der Spiegel reports.

It is reported that the company agreed to test and provide Russia’s Defence Ministry with 100 ZT-180 drones by April. According to experts, every drone of this kind can carry a warhead weighing from 35 to 50 kg, Der Spiegel notes. The design of these UAVs is similar to that of Iranian Shaheed-136 which Russia has already used in Ukraine.

The media outlet reports that the supply of drones to Russia is only the first step in cooperation. The Chinese company plans to provide technologies which would help Russia establish its own drone production, Der Spiegel claims. That would allow Russia to produce up to 100 drones a month.

The Dutch broadcasting company NOS previously reported that Dutch-made microchips end up in Russia through Chinese intermediaries. Der Spiegel notes, citing the Ukrainian Armed Forces’ (UAF) analysis, that 10 out of 27 Russian weapons examined by the UAF, such as missiles, helicopters, and drones, or their remains, contained Dutch-made microchips.

Several weeks ago, The Wall Street Journal reported, citing Russia’s border control service data, that China was exporting technologies to Russia, which the country needs to keep up its war against Ukraine, in violation of international sanctions and export control measures.

According to WSJ journalists, Russia has imported tens of thousands of shipments of dual-use goods that can be used both for civilian purposes and militarily since the start of the war. According to the border control documentation, most of these shipments came from China.

Earlier in the day, China introduced a plan on the Political Settlement of the war in Ukraine. It is made up of 12 steps. Among them — ceasefire, beginning of peace talks, resolving the humanitarian crisis. The Chinese government thinks that the sovereignty of all countries, “big or small, strong or weak”, should be respected. Furthermore, China opposes unilateral sanctions, the document adds.

Editor in chief — Kirill Martynov. Terms of use. Privacy policy.